Plowshare Tuesday 5/4/2021

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Plowshare Tuesday 5/4/2021

Postby sd » Tue May 04, 2021 5:17 pm

Lombard took the day with a 34.9 mile flight to Ventucopa (Hwy 33), then packed up on the green grass in the shade behind the Santa Barbara Pistachio Company. Pilots only got into the low to mid-7s, about 3K over launch, but much lower than most days. It is common to get over 10K and sometimes as high as 14ish. Pilots reported high robust pressure-conditions along the range with weaker and smoother lift over the flat lands. Due to the limited altitude there were a number of low saves. Lorimer crossed the valley near Cottonwood and found some success over the north side foothills before fizzling on the outskirts of New Cuyama. Uncle Neal flew a few miles east of launch to Timber Peak before opting to head out toward the road to avoid a long hike.

Wind was stiff from the NE when we arrived at launch about 10:30, then backed down. Lorimer was off about 11:49ish with Neal bringing up the rear 20 minutes later. Lorimer initially had significant NE flow above launch and plugged upwind into decreasing headwind most of the day. The west eventually came through, but the profile was perhaps layered with different wind at different altitudes. There was some north in the forecast up higher, but pilots never got high enough to find out. The Cuyama Valley was light and variable favoring low level flow from the east early, but Lombard reported the NW eventually kicked in. He had significant up-river flow from the NW on landing. Pine looked good as we drove by about 4:30 with light flow from the NW on the north side and light flow from the SE on the south side. There were a few high clouds but no lower level cumulus development due to building high pressure. Onshore gradients were fading and expected to switch offshore by Wednesday.
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